Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) Coordinator


The UASC Coordinator oversees transfers of children into Wales through the various Home Office schemes and provides support and capacity building for councils and other partners receiving planned and spontaneous arrivals of children and young people. Unaccompanied asylum seeking children can arrive in Wales via a number of different routes:

  • Children can arrive spontaneously
  • Children can be transferred from councils elsewhere in the UK under the National Transfer Scheme (NTS)
  • Children can be transferred from Europe under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment)
  • UASCs can be transferred from the Middle East and North Africa under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS)
  • Children can be reunited with family in Wales under the Dublin III Regulation.

What is a UASC?

The UK Government Immigration Rules defines an unaccompanied asylum seeking child as a person who:

  • is under 18 years of age when the asylum application is submitted;
  • is applying for asylum in their own right; and
  • is separated from both parents and is not being cared for by an adult who in law or by custom has responsibility to do so.

Spontaneous Arrivals of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

Most UASC arrive in the UK by their own means and are encountered either at their port of entry, at the Asylum Intake Unit in Croydon, or otherwise by police, social services and various agencies throughout the UK. The local authority in which the child first presents is normally responsible for their care.

A UASC may also be routed to Wales by the Home Office if an immigration officer takes the view that the young person’s physical appearance and demeanour strongly suggests that they are over the age of 25 and is therefore being treated as an adult. In these instances, the young person should still be referred to the Local Authority in which they are residing for a full age assessment.

National Transfer Scheme (NTS)

The National Transfer Scheme (NTS) was developed to encourage all councils in the UK to volunteer to support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) so there is a more even distribution of caring responsibilities across the country. The provisions of the NTS were extended to Wales in December 2017. The scheme was mandated in December 2021.

Dubs Amendment / Section 67

The ‘Dubs’ Amendment is also referred to as Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016. Unaccompanied children who have arrived in Greece, France and Italy could be transferred to the UK under the Dubs programme and are supported and in the care of councils across the UK. Because of their vulnerable circumstances, the majority are placed with highly experienced foster carers.

Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme

The Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme was announced in April 2016 and is available to children at a high risk of harm and exploitation along with their families. Identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as being most in need, they are resettled to the UK from refugee camps and other unsafe environments across the Middle East and North Africa.

Dublin III Regulation

The Dublin III Regulation (‘Dublin’) is an EU law which sets out which European country is responsible for someone’s asylum claim. A child who claims asylum and is unaccompanied can be transferred to a country where they have family members (parent/carer, child or spouse) or relatives (aunt, uncle and grandparent).

Funding for councils

Councils may claim reimbursement of costs for supporting and caring for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and for those former UASC’s receiving support under Leaving Care arrangements. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have produced funding instructions for councils on the process for making these claims.

For more information contact: Sabina Hussain - Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children Coordinator


07787 578873

Contact Us

Wales Strategic Migration Partnership

One Canal Parade

Dumballs Road

Cardiff, CF10 5BF

Tel : 029 2046 8600

Mail : WSMPComms@wlga.gov.uk

Business Hours : Mon - Thurs 08:30 - 17:00, Fri - 08:30 - 16:30

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